Lady pharmacists, under the auspices of Association of Lady Pharmacists (ALPs), have announced a planned collaboration with the Nigerian Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) to standardise the processing of medicinal plants into safe herbal and nutritional supplements for the Nigerian populace.
The association, which has the mandate to cultivate herbal medicinal plants across the country, said the initiative would help the nation in bridging existing gaps in nutrition, health and women empowerment.
The lady pharmacists made the disclosure, while briefing journalists in Lagos on the forthcoming 15th Biennial National Conference of ALPs, with the theme: “Pharmaceutical Value Chain for Optimal Utilisation- Where Are We”. They stated that ALPs, under its “Project 91” mandate, would be planting herbal medicinal plants across the six geopolitical zones of the country to provide herbal products, raw materials, nutritional supplements and body care products.
The association’s National Chairman, Pharm. (Mrs) Victoria Ukwu, who noted that a World Health Organisation (WHO) report shows that 80 per cent of the world’s population depends on medicinal plants for its primary healthcare needs, said the dream of the association, is to see Nigeria succeed in traditional medicine like China.
She noted that ALPs’ campaign for the standardisation of herbal medicine practice is to guarantee the safety of consumers, especially as medicinal plants have shown benefits in treating and managing conditions sickle cell anaemia.
Speaking on ALPs partnership with NIPRD, Ukwu said the association understands that it cannot singlehandedly execute the project to conclusion, and thus needs the collaboration of governors’ wives to secure more landed properties for the project, while also canvassing the assistance of NIPRD for proper processing of the cultivated herbal plants.
According to her: “Our pet project “Project 91”, an initiative for the cultivation of economically viable medicinal plants for nutrition, health and economic benefits, has identified plants and allotted them to each geopolitical zone. Thus, we need the involvement of all our governors’ wives, who are our patrons in various states, to be part of this laudable initiative of planting herbal gardens across the country. This will serve to empower women and showcase our herbal resources.”
The ALPs national chairman also hinted that, so far, four first ladies had aligned with the vision of the group, adding that they would be present at the conference in Lagos to show more solidarity for the project. She also mentioned that since the project involves different stages, ALPs would be working with NIPRD for the processing of the plants for the use of the populace.
Speaking on the forthcoming conference, the Chairman, Conference Planning Committee, Pharm. (Dr) Monica Eimunjeze, stated that the event would commence with a retreat at the Whispering Palms Resort, Badagary, Lagos, from 5 to 8 June. She added that this would be followed by a quiz competition for female students in public schools in Ikeja area of the state, at the Lagos Country Club, Ikeja GRA, on 8 June, by 2 pm.
Other events scheduled for the conference are: welcome cocktail on 8 June, at the Lagos Country Club; opening ceremony of the conference at Radisson Blu Hotel, Ikeja, on 9 June; and the Biennial General Meeting and closing dinner, on 10 June, at the same venue.